I have no plans to coach again soon, says Germany’s Voeller


BERLIN: Rudi Voeller, who led Germany to the 2002 World Cup final in his first coaching job, said on Monday he has no plans to return to the bench just yet even though offers are still landing on his desk. 

Voeller, who won the World Cup as a West Germany player in 1990 but lost as coach to Brazil in the final 12 years later, said in an interview that he was content as sporting director at Bayer Leverkusen, where he ended his playing career in 1996. 

“I’m enjoying the sporting director job immensely,” Voeller said. “It’s great fun and a great challenge. Working at the meeting point of sport and politics is something that’s totally fulfilling for me right now.” 

Voeller coached Germany from 2000 to 2004. After the surprise run to the 2002 World Cup final that made Voeller a national hero, Germany struggled over the next two years and were eliminated from Euro 2004 at the group stage. 

Voeller resigned after that but a month later was coaching AS Roma but quit after a month and returned to Leverkusen. He has remained one of the sport’s most popular figures in Germany. 

“There are offers (to coach) that keep coming in now and then,” said Voeller, who also speaks Italian and played at AS Roma from 1987 to 1992. He added, however, he had “no itch” to coach again. 

Voeller did not, however, rule out a return to coaching. “I just don’t know,” he said. 

Voeller, 47, recently joined a new online discussion forum with Inter Milan’s Patrick Vieira, Barcelona’s Samuel Eto’o and former referee Anders Frisk of Sweden to discuss issues with fans called “feel football” (www.feelfootball.com). 

“It’s a great idea to open a direct dialogue with fans,” he said. “I might even get a good idea or two from them.” 

He said the four would be online regularly to give their opinions on issues of the day as well as making their comments on Champions League matches. Technology, cheating and women’s football are some of the topics to be tackled, he said. 

Voeller, whose team are sixth in the Bundesliga and on course for a berth in the UEFA Cup next season, said he believes the German league has held onto its position as the fourth strongest in the world behind England, Italy and Spain. 

“The Champions League and UEFA Cup are the barometers and it’s clear England has the best league, then Spain, Italy and then Germany,” Voeller said.  

He added that Germany lagged behind the other three primarily “because of a lack of money”. 

“It’s clear that those that pay the most money get the best players. In Germany, there’s less money to be paid.  

“It’s no coincidence that England is the best at the moment.” – Reuters 

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